You started feeding your baby purées around 4-6 months of age… introducing new foods every 3-4 days. Then you started mixing those purées together to give them a taste of a combination of different foods.
One month down the track, now what?! Do you keep going with purees, or is it time to introduce something different? What about finger foods? How and when do you start them eating the same or similar foods to you and the rest of your family?
When you have a baby, you become increasingly aware of how quickly they change, grow and develop. One minute you’re holding your precious newborn and the next they’re rolling over, grabbing for objects, smiling at you and understanding certain words and cues… oh, and they start looking for something more than just their milk!
Like all milestones, it is so important to keep up to date with your baby’s progress and keep encouraging their development towards becoming independent, healthy adults. And it’s the same when it comes to your baby’s food journey.
Whilst there can be many challenges when it comes to introducing solids, understanding your baby’s development and cues that they are ready to move on to the next stage of eating will help make their food journey a smoother, happier one.
This needs to be done gradually. When your baby is ready. And when they are showing the signs it is time to progress. The texture should progress from puréed to mashed to chopped. If infants are not encouraged to chew more textured foods, at an age and stage that is right for them, then it can become an issue as they grow. Teaching an older baby to chew can be incredibly difficult; it is much easier to make the progression gradual, by following the cues your baby is ready for a new stage of eating.
It can be easy to think that just because your baby doesn't have any teeth, they aren't ready for chunkier foods. But this is in fact, only one of the indicators your baby is ready for more texture. It's also only loosely based on their age as like all milestones, babies will develop at their own pace.
So what do you need to know?
Be aware of how your baby is changing and how their ability to chew, bite or 'gum' and swallow food is developing. Change the texture and type of food you are offering at suitable time for them. Be careful not to continue feeding them too many store brought sachets as these are generally all very smooth in texture and make progressing to chunkier purées difficult. And most importantly, understand the indicators that they are ready to progress to help make their food journey a happy, healthy one.
Detailed information about the different eating stages can be found in our guide (click here), including the rough ages your baby will likely be when they are ready for each new stage and the indicators they will likely demonstrate when they are ready to progress. Let us help take the guess work out of this small part of parenthood!